#1 Go Public
First things first. If you want your account to be for your business it HAS to be public 🙂 That’s just they way it is. If you don’t want strangers seeing pictures of your children, dog, husband, house, etc, etc then don’t share those on your business account. You can have two accounts.
#2 Bio, you got to do one.
Let your customer know why they should be following you. What are you offering? I don’t pretend to have a perfect bio myself, but if you don’t have something that explains what business you are in then you are missing out on customers. I also think it’s a mistake to start your bio with personal descriptors, like coffee addict or mommy of 4. If you want to include that then that’s cool/your decision, but if you are running a business account I want to know what your business is first. Not that you are a mommy or wifey. Go easy on the emoji too, a few here are there provides some fun but a two line string is just too much.
Use the same bio picture as you use for your other social media platforms.
Make sure include your webpage or other link (this is the only place you get a live link). Even better is to make a call to action as part of your bio. Utilize a Bitly link to track traffic from Instagram to your pages, unlike other social media platforms Instagram is not automatically tracked. UPDATE: Google will now track traffic coming in from Instagram, so no need for the special link!!
#3 Hashtag, Hashtag Hashtag
Hashtags is what brings all the boys likes and followers to the yard 🙂 Making consistent use of relevant hashtags will serve you well in getting followers and likes….and customers. I make use of a few techniques to keep my hashtag game together.
I use Tag O’Matic to find a base of hashtags for a post. I typically don’t use every suggestion that comes up on a search but it’s a great place to get started. I NEVER use #followforfollow or something along those lines, so I would not just blindly copy and paste the hashtags that come up.
Keep a hashtag list. I keep a list of hashtags that I have collected from various sources around the web or ones I’ve used/found via Instagram. This gives me a great go-to list, without having to think too much. I also keep a shortcut in my phone of my more frequent hashtags for easy on-the-go access.
Look at other photos under hashtags you use and see what other hashtags those people are using. Also check out your competitors and see what hashtags they are using. Add relevant ones to your go-to list.
Want a starting place? Grab the 100+ hashtags below + 50 prompts!
#4 Be Consistent
Just like any other social media channel, you should have a plan for your account about what kinds of information you want to share and a posting schedule. I love Later for helping with keeping consistent and on target with my account.
Later app allows you to “schedule” Instagram posts in advance. You still must manually push the post to Instagram, but it allows you to easily have the picture, caption (plus hashtags) all ready to go, instead of taking time each day to come up with something. Added bonus it is free for 30 scheduled posts a month. My personal schedule with Instagram is a post a day, however many articles recommend 3 times a day (or more).
To get you started thinking about what you could post, check out this post, 25 Instagram prompts to get you thinking “in the square”. Also, just because you can schedule doesn’t mean all your posts need to be scheduled, spur of the moment can be good too.
To find accounts to follow:
- Search hashtags you utilize or that your customers would use.
- Check out your competitors (ie those in the same or similar industry). See who is following them and who they follow.
- Follow related industries or complimentary products/services. If you are a location based business look for places that would maybe share the same type of customers. For example if you own a hotel, follow other touristy activities in town. Same principle can apply for services or products.
Keep in mind when following that this is your business account, while I don’t think every follow needs to be tightly related to your business, just make sure to stay mostly on target with people in your industry and customers. You want your time spent in your newsfeed to be enjoyable but it should be connecting with potential customers.
You have to carve out time to engage and interact. I have a confession, Instagram is my favorite to spend time on, I’m a sucker for pretty pictures. However, it’s not all about the looking. 🙂 Make sure to schedule in time to interact with your newsfeed and to follow up on your own post comments and likes.
While the pretty picture might capture your audience’s attention, make sure you are deepening the value and relationship with a well thought out captions. Use a call of action to encourage further engagement and to prompt visitors to your site.
Don’t forget to share some of your Instagram posts to Facebook and Twitter too…let people know they can find you on Instagram. I personally don’t like to share every post across platforms, I think it gets boring that way, but it’s good to remind your followers you can be found elsewhere. Remember that when you share to Twitter the picture is not also shared, just the link to your Instagram account, so make sure the tweet makes sense without the visual 🙂 or set up IFTTT to work around that. Want to share your Instagram pictures on your Facebook business page and not your personal Facebook page? Follow these steps.
To find more great tips from some IG killing it ladies, follow my Instagram Board.
What Instagram tips would you share to a fellow entrepreneur? Are we friends on Instagram yet?